The Beauty Around Us

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

Posts by Linda G.

Ode to a Cow

When life seems one too many for you, 

Go and look at a Cow. 

When the futures black and the outlooks blue, 

Go and look at a Cow. 

For she does nothing but eat her food, 

and sleep in the meadows entirely nood, 

Refusing to fret or worry or brood, 

Because she doesn’t know how. …  

Whenever you’re feeling bothered or sore, 

Go and look at a Cow, 

When everything else is a fearful bore, 

Go and look at a Cow. 

Observe her gentle and placid air, 

Her nonchalance and savoir faire, 

Her absolute freedom from every care, 

Her imperturbable brow. …  

So when you’re at the end of your wits, 

Go and look at a Cow 

Or when your nerves are frayed to bits, 

And wrinkles furrow your brow; 

She’ll merely Moo in her gentle way, 

Switching her rudder as if to say:

“Bother tomorrow! Let’s Live today! 

Take the advice of a cow!” …  

from The Old Farmers Almanac – 1936 – 

Ellicottville, NY

Late this morning we drove to Ellicottville, NY, a small town located about 50 miles northeast of where we live.

The first thing I noticed, as we pulled into a parking space on Washington Street was a different kind of tree sitting in front of the post office.

Ski Tree

Ellicottville’s Ski Tree went up in November 2017. According to unofficialnetworks.com the ski tree stands 31 feet tall and is constructed of over 400 skis, it is the largest ski tree in America.

Close-up picture of the Ski Tree

The Ellicottville Coffee Company was near where we parked our car on Washington Street. We stopped in the shop to browse. Bob ended up purchasing a compact Aeropress Coffee Maker that was priced the same as one he had seen on Amazon.

We ate lunch at The Gin Mill. It had been a while since we last ate at The Gin Mill. In fact the last time we ate there was Dec. 7, 2015. Today Bob ordered a Buffalo chicken wrap; I ordered a BLT sandwich. Both sandwiches were accompanied with potato chips. We have always enjoyed our meals at The Gin Mill, and today was no exception.

We ate lunch at The Gin Mill.

The Gin Mill moved down the street to a new, bigger location since we last ate there. At first we thought The Gin Mill had closed. We were pleased that it was still a viable business.

We went for a short walk down Monroe Street, after lunch. I admired a store front and took a couple pictures.

Looking up Monroe Street toward Washington Street
Pretty store fronts

On the way home we drove through Randolph, NY. We stopped for dessert (ice cream) at Peaches ‘n Cream.

We returned home at 4:00 pm. What a nice way to spend a few hours!

Ohio Vacation Day 7 – Waterfall and Ducks

We ate lunch at Fisher’s Cafe & Pub in Peninsula. We ate at Fisher’s earlier in the week. The food and service was good, so we made a return trip. We weren’t disappointed eating here again.

After lunch we drove to Viaduct Park, located in Cuyahoga Valley National Park’s Bedford Reservation. In Viaduct Park is a waterfall–the Great Falls of Tinkers Creek. Going to the waterfall was the reason for the drive to Viaduct Park.

Great Falls of Tinkers Creek

This morning, before leaving for the Akron Zoo, we saw a couple Black-Bellied Whistling Ducks in the wetlands.

Black-Bellied Whistling Ducks

Back at the Airbnb later in the day we once again saw two Black-Bellied Whistling Ducks. I took a close-up picture of one of the ducks.

Black-Bellied Whistling Duck

It is rare to see these ducks so far north. Our Airbnb hosts said it was the first time they had seen a Black-Bellied Whistling Duck in their pond. We were thrilled to see these ducks and to have the opportunity to photograph them!

The next day (July 2nd) Bob got up at 5:00 am. I got up an hour later. We packed, got showered and dressed, and said goodbye to Deborah (John was on a grocery run). We were on our way home at 7:20 am. By the way we didn’t see any Black-Bellied Whistling Ducks before our departure.

Our first stop was for breakfast at Bob Evans Restaurant in nearby Streetsboro, OH. After a filling breakfast, we were back on the road at 8:15 am.

We returned home around 11:40 am.

We had a wonderful vacation! We look forward to visiting Hudson, OH again and staying (hopefully) at the same Airbnb.

Ohio Vacation Day 7 – Akron Zoo (7/1/2021)

We visited Akron Zoo this morning. We planned to visit the zoo, rain or shine. The sun did not make an appearance; neither did the rain.

This was our first visit to Akron Zoo. As members of Erie Zoo we can visit over 100 other zoos and aquariums across North America free or at a reduced rate. Our Erie Zoo membership afforded us entry into Akron Zoo at a reduced rate–50% off the published rate.

I took many pictures, while at the zoo, and decided a slideshow would be the proper medium to share some of those pictures with you.

Akron Zoo Memories

Stay tuned! I have a few more details and photographs of our Ohio vacation to share with you via one more (possibly two) blog post(s).

Ohio Vacation Day 6 – Retirement! (6/30/2021)

Today is Bob’s first day of retirement from Betts Industries Inc., after 35 1/2 years service.

Bob started work at Betts Industries on November 26, 1984 (first day of buck season). Since June 2020, when he was laid off work because of COVID, Bob has been in practice for retirement. This week-long stay in Ohio is our first vacation in retirement.

I am using the words of a friend (thank you Debby) who wrote about retirement a few weeks ago. Debby’s words struck home with me. Debby wrote that the most luxurious part of retirement is that we can go as long as we want. There is no job to return to. There are no vacation days trickling through our fingers. The only thing determining the length of a vacation trip is us.

We are excited about this new chapter in our lives!

We ate lunch at The Brew Kettle in Hudson OH. I ordered Fish and Chips; Bob ordered a pulled pork sandwich with sweet potato fries. Bob had a couple beers too. One beer was a celebratory drink.

Congratulations on your retirement, Bob!

Ohio Vacation Day 6 – Downtown Hudson (6/30/2021)

Late this morning we drove to downtown Hudson. We parked along the street and walked a couple blocks along N. Main Street, between Church and Owen Brown Streets, stopping often for photo opportunities.

I am standing in the village green, looking across N. Main Street.
Hudson’s Clocktower
I took a selfie in front of the Hudson Clocktower.
Looking up N. Main Street toward Owen Brown Street
We saw flowers in abundance, during our walk.
Drawing a hopscotch design on the ground
outside one of the stores
The Learned Owl Bookstore Sign
I believe this tiny door was at
The Learned Owl Bookstore too.
Sign for the Open Door Coffee Co.
Colorful Piano Outside the Western Reserve Music

Isn’t downtown Hudson pretty? Perhaps on our next visit, we can visit some of these shops. Even though we spent a week in Hudson, there wasn’t enough time to do everything we wanted to do!

Ohio Vacation Day 6 – Covered Bridge and Waterfall (6/30/2021)

This morning we went for a short bicycle ride. We drove to Cuyahoga Valley National Park. We parked in the parking lot across from the Hunt Farm Visitors Center. We rode from the parking lot to the Everett Covered Bridge and back. We rode both the towpath and Everett Road. Total bicycle miles: 2.12 miles.

We parked at the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail parking lot,
located off Bolanz Rd near Riverside Rd,
across the street from Hunt Farm.
Our destination was the Everett Covered Bridge.

Bob rode more miles than me, as he had to ride back to the parking lot twice. The first time he went back for his helmet. The second time he went back for the GoPro, which was lying outside on the back of our car.

After returning to the parking lot and loading the bicycles back onto the car, we drove to Brandywine Falls. This was our second visit this week to Brandywine Falls. We wanted to see the effect of the recent rain on the waterfall.

We viewed the waterfall first from the very top boardwalk (no stairs involved). We didn’t view the waterfall from this vantage point, during our first visit.

Brandywine Falls

We decided to walk down the stairs for a closer view of the waterfall.

Brandywine Falls (Long Exposure)

Our recent rainfall did increase the water flow, as evidenced by these two pictures.

First visit to Brandywine Falls
Today’s visit to Brandywine Falls

From Brandywine Falls we drove to downtown Hudson. I will share photographs of downtown Hudson in my next blog post.

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